There’s no reason to watch the Phoenix Suns lose on purpose this season except to see how number-one pick DeAndre Ayton is doing (fine, mostly) or watch Devin Booker go all-out for another impressive yet futile solo scoring display. Booker went off again Monday night in Utah, although his own teammate Jimmer Fredette kept him from getting to 60 points late in the fourth quarter.
Booker kept shooting and hoped it’d help the Suns, as usual, and he had 47 heading into the fourth. That was when the Jazz took over, and the Suns made their top priority to get Booker to 60. After taking a breather due to foul trouble, he entered the game with three minutes left and with 56 points, determined to reach the milestone via sheer volume.
That’s when Fredette tried to put on his own show. The former BYU three-point darling and Suns signee was in his second NBA game since a three-year layoff, and because he had the luxury of playing in front of an adoring Utah home crowd, he tried to give the fans something to cheer for. That’s why he ended up at 0-for-7 when Booker checked back in. The Suns’ effort to help Booker score 60 points was undone by Jimmer’s attempt to score a single damn bucket.
Thirteen seconds after Booker came into the game, Fredette hoisted this abomination.
After Booker sunk a technical free throw, he had 57 points, and even though the Jazz were now double-teaming him hard despite being up 30, he took an equally audacious runner. You will notice Fredette calling for the rock in the corner. Good luck with that, buddy!
Booker then made a wild corner heave through yet another double team to notch 59 points with 1:34 left, and at this point, the Jazz were as invested in stopping Booker as he was in hitting the milestone. Thankfully, Utah had an ally in Fredette, who finally made a bucket, ugly as it was.
With Fredette now 1-for-9, it felt like it was finally time for him to stop embarrassing himself and give the rock to Booker. Alas:
Right after Fredette’s three-point miss, he drove to the hoop to draw a foul. He burnt a whole minute of time where Booker could have been trying to score, all so he could finish 1-for-10 from the field. The Suns did have one more try to score, only this time, without Fredette to help them, the Jazz went out of their way to intentionally foul De’Anthony Melton before Booker could touch the ball.
Booker finished the game with 59 points, setting a few appropriate records for the dreadful 2018-19 Phoenix Suns. He became the first player ever to score 50 points or more in a game where his team lost by 30 or more, the third player ever to score 50 without a single other teammate reaching double figures, and the fifth player ever to have multiple 50-point games in losses. And he didn’t even get the glory of scoring 60, all because Fredette kept trying to redeem himself in front of a bunch of BYU fans.